Strong Lender = Strong Deal 

Normally, when Realtors think about financially qualifying a home Buyer, they think about what the listing agent50 yard linerepresenting the Seller — does.

Stuff like vetting the Buyer’s Pre-approval Letter (and making sure there is one!); interviewing the Buyer’s lender once an offer comes in; making sure the Buyer’s earnest money and down payment are sufficient; and setting a fast — but not too fast — Written Statement deadline.

But, long before the listing agent weighs in, the Buyer’s agent performs a similar (and arguably even more important) function.

Buyer’s Agent as Financial Gatekeeper

Why would the Buyer’s agent check out their client’s financing?

Two reasons:

One. To verify the client’s budget.

Nothing is a bigger or more discouraging waste of time than spending weeks (months?) canvassing a big, urban market like the Twin Cities for the perfect, say, $250k home, finding it . . . and then hearing from the Buyer’s lender that the Buyer can’t afford it.


Or in Monopoly lingo, “Do Not Pass Go.  Do Not Collect $200” (or commission).

Two.  To make sure the Buyer’s money will be there at closing.

The only thing worse than finding out the Buyer’s financing is shaky at the beginning of the deal . . . is finding that out at the end. 

Like at closing, when the Buyer’s earnest money is non-refundable, the Seller has already moved out, and not closing constitutes a breach of contract (with lots of other, nasty repercussions).

For all those reasons, savvy Buyers’ agents financially qualify their clients long before their colleagues on the other side of a deal ever do.

“Starting on 2nd Base” (for Non-Football Fans)

When do all those concerns about the Buyer’s financing suddenly vanish?

When a good lender brings the Buyer’s agent into the deal (that is, the lender refers the Buyer to the Realtor).

In my case, that’s frequently Steve Devitt at U.S. Bank.

Thanks, Steve!!

It’s alway a pleasure to work with your clients (and you!).

See also, “Good Lender Service,” Defined; “Why Good Lender Service Matters”; “Listing Agents Who Call the Buyer’s Lender“; and, “The Second Most Important Date in a Home Sale“; and “How to Financially Qualify Home Buyers — and Home Builders.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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